Anantapur: RTO exhorts transport operators to adhere to road safety norms

Road Transport Officer Y Sudhakar Reddy and Deputy Transport Commissioner Sivaram Prasad
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Road Transport Officer Y Sudhakar Reddy and Deputy Transport Commissioner Sivaram Prasad

Highlights

At one time, the office of Road Transport Authority was run by agents, who virtually dealt with all the operations of RTA.

Anantapur: At one time, the office of Road Transport Authority was run by agents, who virtually dealt with all the operations of RTA. They functioned as extension counters and operated as a parallel authority wielding a lot of influence and power. They earned a lot of money and made all operations and made everything possible for the transport operators, pillion riders and domestic car owners. Now, one can witness a sea change in the RTA office and in the employees' attitude. With the computerisation of all records and making online transactions hassle-free, the magnitude of corruption and strict adherence to rules has become possible.

Road Transport Officer Sudhakar Reddy, the key person in the day to day RTA operations is accessible to general public and issues if any are being sorted out without redtapism. One can find a friendly atmosphere among the employees and officials manning the counters. This sort of public-friendly culture is unseen and unheard of in the office in the past.

Deputy Transport Commissioner N Siva Rama Prasad during an interaction with The Hans India expressed concern over the increasing number of accidents mostly on Panchayat Raj and state R&B roads while on National Highways it is lesser.

Siva Rama Prasad says that in 2021 so far, 106 mishaps occurred leaving 56 dead and 150 injured. At the state-level it is 764 mishaps and 851 injured and 409 deaths from January to August 2021.

Covid pandemic followed by lockdown had has its bearing on the transport sector and RTA revenue and its reflection on the state revenue. Both at the state and district level, revenue came down by 50 percent which is a major drain on the state budget. Revenue through registrations recorded an all-time low in 2019-20 and in 2020-21. For instance, revenue target was Rs 4,460 crore for 2021 but what could be achieved was a mere Rs 2,973.33 crore. Almost 50 percent downslide in revenue. Also, the government instructed RTA not to act against anyone for delayed registrations or transport operations license renewals or for delay in insurance renewals.

The department operated humanely during pandemic and post-pandemic hangover period. The DTC says that amidst pandemic scenario, the interesting aspect is the increase in two-wheeler sales. Presumably he says it could be due to the priority given to social distance, even family members preferred to have their own bikes or scooters giving individual safety high priority and purchase of cars took a backseat. This thought process resulted in a downward slide in sales of auto-rickshaws, cars and in share-taxies and passenger vehicles. The social distance scare resulted in all private bus operators go off the road.

RTO Sudhakar Reddy talking to The Hans India called upon the transport operators to maintain discipline in adhering to road safety norms and avoid drunken driving. Road mishaps occurrence which are on the higher side in PR roads within the district and mandals and on the state highways is because of indisciplined driving involving drunken driving and violation of road safety norms.

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